5 Tips to Successfully Bring OneTrack into your Warehouse Operations
OneTrack is a powerful tool for any warehouse. It can help keep people safe, boost productivity, improve processes, and make better decisions faster.
But it’s not a silver bullet. Just like any other tool — your team has to use it.
If you want to successfully roll out OneTrack in your warehouse, you have to get people bought in, communicate new processes, and ensure maximum adoption.
Luckily, we’ve got a few tips for you after working with our customers to bring thousands of AI sensors into warehouses all over the world.
How to Rollout OneTrack in your Warehouses
Tip #1: Set expectations early
Everyone has an idea of what AI is… and it’s usually based on sci fi movies. Terminator, IRobot, and Marvel’s Age of Ultron may have made for good movies, but that’s not what AI really is.
The truth is, that AI and machine learning are just ways to teach a computer to recognize patterns by analyzing millions of data points. In a warehouse, this means that OneTrack’s AI camera sensors can recognize when someone is on their phone or when a forklift accident occurs. It can even determine the most common leading indicators of MHE safety incidents.
OneTrack is there to make sense of the actions happening everyday in your warehouse, to surface insights that keep people safe and productive. It's not meant to take anyone’s job, and that’s an important message to spread early.
But, bringing in new technology and changing how someone has done their job for years can be met with some understandable pushback.
That’s why, when bringing OneTrack into your warehouse, it’s crucial to make everyone feel a part of the process. Get all of the stakeholders at the table and get their feedback when creating new processes.
Even if you don’t follow their recommendation, they’ll feel heard and buy-in much sooner.
Just as important: Clearly define what’s expected of everyone. From operators, to supervisors, all the way to senior leadership.
For operators, that means putting together documentation and training on proper operation of MHE equipment and going over all warehouse processes again.
For supervisors it comes down to coaching. Odds are your supervisors have never had enough visibility to coach operators on this level. It also means that there are going to be a lot more opportunities to coach, and there should be expectations set around how quickly they resolve events.
For levels past that, maybe it’s setting up a quarterly meeting to dive into the data and discuss potential process changes or other warehouse improvements.
Tip #2: Get it documented
It might sound like a small thing, but getting OneTrack language added into your official company documents can be highly effective.
We get questions about the "big brother" effect a lot.
Operators are worried that someone is constantly watching them as they move throughout the day.
Putting OneTrack in your employee handbook (and potentially adding a legal addendum to employee contracts) is an important step toward operations as usual while also giving you documentation to back up your new policies.
To go along with that documentation, a lot of times the best path forward is just an honest conversation:
See Hain Celestial's full story here.
Tip #3: Communicate. Communicate. Communicate.
Now that you’ve documented how your warehouse operations and processes will change, it’s time to communicate it to your forklift operators.
Here are a few things our customers have told us worked well when communicating new technology to your sites.
Double down on the why. There’s always a reason for bringing in new technology, and that reason needs to be a rallying cry to get past that initial change resistance.
If you’re implementing OneTrack, that reason is simple. Build a culture around safety. You’re trying to make sure that every employee goes home in the same condition that they showed up to work in. Everyone can get on board with that.
Warehouse safety isn’t the only thing that OneTrack can bring to the table, but we find that’s often the best way to get people bought in and excited early.
The next piece is how you frame this to your teams. You don’t want to position this as a way to “catch bad behavior”.
Instead, a lot of customers put it this way: “This is here to help keep you safe from the people who aren’t following the rules. When you’re out there working hard, you won’t need to worry about someone goofing off or doing something dangerous that could put you in jeopardy.”
Most operators want to do a good job. They may need some coaching in areas, but they want to do a good job, and do it safely.
This gives them something they can buy into because it’s not about “catching them” doing something wrong. It’s about holding everyone to a standard that will keep people safe.
We also provide signage to our customers to put up around break rooms and entrances to communicate that the facility uses OneTrack to record events, but it’s not a live feed, no one is physically watching the sensors, and we capture no biometric data.
You want to keep getting that message across. No one will actually see any footage, unless an incident occurs.
Tip #4: Be consistent
No one wants to be singled out. That’s a surefire way to create tension and start losing employees.
Yes, there are going to be people who don’t want to comply with new processes — and those employees should be dealt with accordingly. But the majority of operators and team leads want to do the job and do it right.
It’s important for the entire team to see consistency in your processes, consistency in how you coach, and consistency in disciplinary action.
With OneTrack, you’re going to get more visibility into your operations than you’ve ever had:
See Holman Logistic's full story here.
You’ll know when an operator is sitting in the back on their phone not working, or on their phone while driving. You’ll know when someone makes an unsafe turn. You’ll know when impacts or product hits occur.
But with this new visibility, you’re going to need a consistent way to coach operators and hold supervisors accountable for their coaching, without micromanaging or singling anyone out.
Decide early on what events you want to coach on. Are aggressive turns not a high priority? Pay attention to them, but don’t bring them up. On the other hand, something like texting while driving a forklift or not using the horn before driving into an intersection with pedestrians are much more dangerous behaviors to start with.
Consistency in the process will get everyone back to business as usual as quickly as possible.
Tip #5: Be patient upfront
One of the most common mistakes we see is trying to make an example of people.
The rationale is sound. If people see the consequences are severe, they’ll be more aware of their actions.
True to an extent. But it also leaves a bad first impression of the technology. And that’s a recipe for low morale and high turnover.
Instead what we recommend is using a staggered approach.
In our implementation process we do what’s called a “calibration period”. Basically, two weeks to adjust the AI models, which have been trained across hundreds of warehouses, to only show what you care about seeing in yours.
This way you don’t get flooded with notifications of things you really don’t care about.
Some of our most successful customers take that a step further. They take another week or two just to observe.
This allows for a few things:
Adjust any of the processes you and the rest of the team set up to match what’s really happening
Set baselines of what’s really going on in your building so you can measure improvements
Figure out your game plan for how to actually coach operators. (Bringing video in allows for a whole different type of coaching which you need a plan for)
Then, after they’ve gotten all of their ducks in a row, they start coaching — without consequences.
If it’s a more serious item, it’s handled 1:1. If it’s a more common occurrence, it’s done in a group setting, using several video examples to reinforce the message.
This lets you set expectations early and without coming down too hard without warning. Show everyone that this is what you can see now, what your expectations are, and be crystal clear what happens when rules are broken in the future.
That’s a recipe for a much safer warehouse.
Want to create a safer, more productive warehouses? Get in touch and see OneTrack in action for yourself.